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More Concerned

May 25, 1999

Dear Dr. Holodniy on March 10th I wrote and asked you a question. You replied. I have some additional information regarding my previous question. In November of 1996 I had a brief relationship with a woman I have known for 12 + years. I never considered her to be a risk for contracting the HIV virus. That's why I didn't even mention her. I had unprotected sex with her several times, I don't remember any symptoms which could be related to HIV but, now, nearly 2 1/2 years later I have the symptoms that I related to you in my previous letter.

Since January of this year I had had a lower respiratory infection for around 6 weeks, and then I got an upper respiratory infection which lasted for about 2 weeks. Within a few days after the upper respiratory infection went away, I began to have fevers, low grade fevers, during the day only. I measured them, but they never got above 99.2. I had these fevers during the day for a couple weeks, also during that time I started to get really cold hands at various times during the day. Once the cold hands episode quit, then I progressed to numbness in my arm. I get this numbness usually when I work on the computer, thought it might be carpal tunnel, so I switched to using the mouse with my other hand. That was the first week in March, and I still have the numbness in my arm, on and off everyday. In addition, to the numbness in my arm, I have severe dizziness, to the point that sometimes I feel I might fall down (haven't yet) the spells of dizziness usually begin around 10:00 a.m., and somewhat dissipate around 3:00 in the afternoon. I usually get them at least one more time later in the evening. Sometimes to the point that I have to just lie on the couch to not feel dizzy.

As I said earlier I have gone to several doctors and was told that basically I have nothing to worry about. I never told anyone about my 12 + year relationship person. She, doesn't have any symptoms, and never gets sick.

Since my last letter I am now having problems with my left leg, it has woken me up in the middle of the night 7 of the last 14 nights. My left ankle looks like I twisted it, a little swollen with rail road tracks where It looks like I have broken blood vessels. I didn't twist my ankle. It feels like sand is running through my veins in my left and also right legs when I wake up in the middle of the night. Also, I started having low grade fevers at various times during the day, again never above 99.2, but this is now an everyday occurrance. I have gone to the local clinic and taken an anonymous HIV test, and will get the results this Thursday.

I have several questions related to the testing. First it is Orasure, how accurate is this test in relation to Elisa? Is there a better way to get tested so that I don't jeapordize my current job. I currently have a really good job, and if I were to test positive, will have to give my real name, and other pertinent informtion. It is my understanding that my name would then go into some public health type database (I live in Texas). Where virtually anyone could see who's in the list. I am concerned that if I go to my normal health care provider for treatment that my insurance company would find out about my status, and this could present problems for me from my company standpoint. My thinking here is that I could go to get treatment from one of the local hospital's through medicare/medicade.

Please, what are your thoughts relating to my questions? Thanks in advance for your time....

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Your symptoms are very nonspecific and do not indicate early HIV infection. You can get a HomeAccess test at the drug store if you are worried about who might have access to results. MH

Overdose toxicity vs. HIV
This is tough...

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